Like it or not, we spend the majority of our lives at work – 10.3 years to be exact. We’re ready to show you how to detox your office so that those years are healthful, more vibrant, and quite possibly more fun.Whether your office is in a sky-high building in the center of downtown, an hourly rental space, or a custom-built room in your home, it’s important to be mindful of how your space is affecting your health – both mentally and physically. From the air we breathe and the office snacks we indulge in, to the computer screens we glare at and fluorescent lights we sit under, there are a multitude of factors influencing not only how we feel, but more relevantly, how we work. A toxic environment can lead to chronic fatigue, poor eyesight, migraines and anxiety, making the work day more harmful and less productive than desired. And while we may think that these factors are out of our control, there are actually plenty of things we can do to detox our offices. With the simple addition of a few items such as air-purifying plants and energy-clearing candles, here’s how to quickly transform your health-depressing office space into a life (and soul!) enhancing one…
11 Ways to Detox your Office Space And Energize Your Workspace
Office air contains toxic chemicals released from carpeting, paint, furniture glues, water repellents and other sources. These stress the liver, impairing development, reproduction and the immune system, while raising cholesterol levels. One way to clear these chemicals is with plants. Use aloe vera to clear formaldehyde and benzene, byproducts of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Also add a peace lily to remove formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene, in addition to toluene and xylene, known carcinogens and mutagens. Who knew plants could be so health-promoting!
Most candles release benzene, toluene, soot and other chemicals into the air, doing more harm than good, so opt for a beeswax one. Unscented pure-beeswax candles are not only free of toxins, but clean the air as well. They release negative ions, which bind to toxins, removing them from the air. They may also help to clear common allergens like dust and dander, making them excellent for those people who suffer from asthma and allergies.
TCM Pick: Abigail’s Studio 100% Beeswax Candle
This is hands down one of our favorite office fixtures – salt lamps. A natural air purifier, the lamp emits negative ions, clearing the air of allergens like smoke, pet dander, pollens, and other air pollutants. Salt lamps can also help to neutralize the elecotromagnetic fields of electronics, improving concentration and lowering stress. Finally, salt lamps emit a beautiful soft light that has been found to be calming, which is essential to making it through a busy work day.
TCM Pick: Himalayan Salt Lamp
Full Spectrum Light Bulb
Many common light bulbs used in offices, such as fluorescent ones, are known to increase stress and mental fatigue. They can also lead to watery, irritated eyes and even migraines. Simply switching to full-spectrum light bulbs can remedy this, increasing mental awareness, concentration and visual clarity, while also reducing eye strain. Full-spectrum light bulbs release the entire range of light, emulating natural light. This helps to normalize our circadian rhythms, which is imperative for reducing anxiety and tension, and normalizing sleep through proper melatonin release. They have also been found to improve SAD, seasonal affective disorder.
TCM Pick: Alzo Joyous Full Spectrum Light Bulbs
We now know that the constant use of electronic devices and countless hours of glaring at screens has a detrimental effect on our eyes, so much so it has been termed Computer Vision Syndrome. Between 50% and 90% of people who work at a computer screen have at least some symptoms of eye trouble, which makes it imperative to support the eyes. While there are countless exercises to perform daily, we also love to provide the right nutrients to the eyes as well. Look for a supplement that supports eye health, containing vitamin C and E, lutein and zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids.
The never-ending mountain of emails, constant back-to-back meetings and ever-approaching deadlines always seem to keep us in a fight-or-flight stress response. This is why it is so important to implement anxiety-reducing practices to keep us sane throughout the day. Our tried-and-true tactic is to use essential oils. Their function is both fast-acting and effective, while also keeping us feeling girly and glamorous despite the sweat we put into our work day. Try using calming formulas that contain lavender, mint, ylang ylang and frankincense to help you breeze through the daily grind.
Non-toxic Hand Sanitizer
As much as we like to share our ideas, goals and visions at work, we would like to keep our germs to ourselves. Unfortunately, offices are breeding grounds for the latest cold or flu, making the use of antibacterials essential. The problem is that most conventional soap and hand sanitizers contain toxic chemicals that have been proven to be dangerous to the body, so look for a natural alternative instead. Many herbs have innate antibacterial properties, making them just as effective and easy to use as their chemical-laden alternatives.
TCM Pick: Thieves Hand Sanitizer
Even the strongest, most disciplined of us will break at some point and indulge in an office treat. We are most vulnerable at the office, subject to crashing blood-sugar levels, which makes those donuts, bagels and muffins all the more tempting. So amp up your defense by planning ahead. Always have your desk stocked with nourishing snacks, ones that have a combination of natural sugars (energy and mood boosting!), protein (stabilizes blood sugar), fiber and healthy fats (increases satiation). This way you will never feel deprived or tempted, and instead you’ll simply feel satisfied throughout the day.
As alluring as a can of Diet Coke or a Frappuccino may seem as the hands of the clock tick four o’clock, resist the urge to grab one of these toxic drinks. Loaded with artificial and refined sugars, trans fats and mineral-leaching preservatives, each drink consumed leads you closer to aging skin and unexpected weight gain. Instead look for a natural energy booster, one that contains real vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and stimulants, helping you reach your health goals. Fresh-pressed green juice is our top pick, or a cold-pressed coffee mixed with homemade almond milk, if you’re dying for some caffeine.
Even if we have the most healthy workplace, sometimes we are forced to work with some very unpleasant energies. These “bad” energies always seem to linger, ruining our mood for the day or even the week, keeping us from working with the vigor and happy disposition we are used to. Our favorite way to remedy this, and to clear any invading negative energy, is by placing crystals around our work space. Look for smokey quartz, which replaces the negative energy with clear, clean and uplifting energy.
TCM Pick: Brazilian Smokey Quartz
The bubbling, gurgling water cooler is a staple of office life, but that seemingly clean water is usually not as healthy as you think. Check out the source of your water and how it is filtered before you down glass upon glass every day. Or take the matter into your own hands instead. Because water is so essential to health, and we are always aiming to drink extra water every day, we like filtering our own. Find a portable water filter, or a water bottle with a built-in filter to make sure your drinking water is free of chemicals, plastics, radiation, heavy metals and bacteria.
TCM Pick: Soma Water Filter